§ Mr. Malcolm MacMillan
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he is aware that the weavers of Harris tweed in the Western Isles are denied unemployment insurance benefit and industrial injuries benefit by reason of their being classed as self-employed; and whether he will now take the initiative in opening, or proposing, discussions with the representatives of the weavers and of the producers, with a view to devising some means of bringing the weavers within Class I insurance benefits.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
My duty is to secure that the classification of insured persons follows the principles of the National Insurance Act, 1946. As I have told the hon. Member, the people to whom he refers are properly classified as self-employed persons under that Act. It is no part of my duties to take the initiative in altering the arrangements made for the carrying on of the weaving or any other trade; but if the circumstances of this trade should change I would be very glad to consider whether60W the effect of such change was to enable the classification of those concerned for national insurance purposes to be altered.